I find myself constantly asking God for guidance but very seldom do I take my part seriously and I neglect to obey Him when He does speak. Especially when it’s either inconvenient or rather crazy. Well thats just what has been brewing this evening; I have been reading God’s word, getting alone with Him, loving talking with Him, and asking for guidance and direction. Well it’s about 1:15 in the morning, I began reading at 12:30 and THOUGHT i’d be done around 1 at the latest. That’s not what God had in plan. You see, I have class at 11 and was wanting to be up at 6. Oh well.
As I was finishing reading I read a commentary over Isaiah 13, which is where I was reading, and then I downloaded some new worship music and heard a song that got my mind thinking about a scenario that I was faced with that gives ME great insight and I pray that it does the same for you as you read this, but if not, I still believe Christ will be glorified. The following is for His glory and His alone. Amen.
As I drove home from Phoenix in early January I was the only one in the car of three people that was awake. It was 5:30 so I can’t say I blame either of my traveling companions for sleeping, I’m just thankful that I didn’t join them. This time of being virtually alone while being around two others could be very, boring, lonely, sad, depressing, the list can go on and on but for me it was a great experience. Not only was it a time of complete silence after a crazy night with 70,000 fans packed into a football stadium with the emotions like a crazy roller coaster, I’m pretty sure my heart stopped four times at least, just saying, but it was a time where in the silence I could talk to God. I was able to communicate with Him so clearly as I drove in the silence and the dark of the morning. I had Him speak to me to, not audibly, but with my surroundings and through my thoughts, sound strange, yeah I’m still blown away by it too. Here is what He showed me and how He spoke to me.
Driving back home in the darkness at 5:30am with two lives in your hands can be intimidating, it was for me. I got my coffee and we were on our way home. We started north towards Flagstaff Arizona which is two hours north of Phoenix (I made it in one…no tickets) but just as we got a little north of Phoenix I looked out my passenger side window to see the silhouette of three mountains, hills, whatever you want to call them, they were big, we’ll go with Mountains. It was dark and all I could see was the general shape and size of each mountain; all were side by side. As I looked at them my attention was immediately drawn to one of them, no it wasn’t any larger or have any crazy awesome mountain distinctions but it had a bright light at the top. It’s light was the only thing to set it apart from the other two and it was where my eyes first focused. It is only natural, right? It illuminated that mountain top. It was the only thing I could see in the surrounding darkness.
It made me think of the story of the city on a hill in Matthew 5. Jesus saw the multitude of people surrounding Him to listen to Him speak so He withdrew to the mountainside with the disciples. He encourages them and tells them how important and how distinct they are. He first describes them as being salt, that they bring flavor to all things, but if salt looses it’s taste what good is it? He continues to say this:
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
That light on the mountainside in Arizona drew my attention, why? Because it stood out in the darkness. You don’t have all your house lights in the garage do you? No that would be pointless. That is the same principle, if we have received the light which is Christ than we are lights, we are the light of the world! While Christ was on Earth He was the light, the physical embodiment of God. And just as my eyes were drawn to the mountainside because the light, mankind was drawn to Jesus. In verse 1 Jesus saw the crowds. A crowd had accumulated around Him, drawn to Him, drawn to the Light.
Have you ever been camping or to some outdoor activity in the middle of the night? I remember being that unprepared camper who didn’t bring anything I needed and when it came time to go play hide and seek I was left flash lightless. Have you ever been there? Everything around you is dark and you just pray you don’t trip on a stump and hurt yourself, so what’s the first reaction? Maybe, “I wish I had a light”? “I need a light”? or “I’m going to find someone with a light”? Maybe all three were very real thoughts crossing your mind as you walked in darkness and the one constant is the light. You don’t have it but you need it, so you find it, someway somehow you find it. That’s exactly what took place in Matthew 5. The multitude gathered to catch a glimpse of the light. They wanted to here Him speak. Now catch this, Jesus does something remarkable. He draws Himself away with His disciples and began to TEACH them. (Disciple in the greek translates to student or learner) You see, Jesus knew the fore coming crucifixion and understood that His physical light must be carried through His disciples and all other Christians and He wanted to take the time to explain just how important their role would be.
Going back to the mountainside; the one with the light was the one that caught my attention because it shown in the dark of the morning. I have at one point or another been either of the three mountains, shining bright for all to see, and also not showing a light at all.
Jesus didn’t just want the crowd to “catch a glimpse” of the light. That isn’t His intention at all. He wants for you to bask in His light, to be fully engulfed and immersed in His brightness, to imitate every thing that He was, to be a bright and shining light to the multitudes of people we interact with. But to do so we must go to the source. His purpose is for you to seek the light then reflect the light. You may be asking what’s the source. I won’t tell you. I’ll let Jesus do it.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”- John 8:12